Day 37: Fret Dilutes Focus (Luke 13:1-35)
Today’s Passage: Luke 13:1-35
I have found the intensity of Jesus increasing. I am not surprised. He is getting closer and closer to Jerusalem; closer and closer to his final hours.
His comments and actions follow what by now are familiar themes. We see him engage people about some terrible things that have happened. Pilate’s torture of people and a tower falling; is this because of sin? Jesus does not answer why there is suffering in the world; rather, he points to what leads to eternal life, repentance. His segue to a barren tree makes the point that lives that are turned toward God bear fruit. Perhaps there is still time?
Then we have, yet again, healing on the Sabbath. I wonder if he is tired of explaining why this is okay. Notice his outrage, his intensity. Again, he turns to an organic metaphor, a tree. This kingdom of God can be seen by growth.
In each instance people are fretting away the focus he is offering. They are not necessarily fretting over bad things, like being burdened at the suffering of others or trying to follow God’s Laws. These are not bad pursuits until—until they somehow turn inward on us. It is why Jesus tells us to repent, to turn the right-way-round. It is why the door is narrow. God has not made it narrow. We have. We like to do things in our strength. We like the feeling of being right. We must enter not in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness and grace of God.